Goals and Resolutions

Calendar for 2018
365 opportunities to write

Happy new year everyone!

I have rather definite views on new year resolutions. Most people give up by February, so I have every sympathy with people who don’t bother in the first place. Personally I pick just one thing to try to change so I can concentrate. If / when that’s become enough of a habit that I don’t need to think about it, I can always start another resolution in March, or June, or December. But one small resolution that sticks seems a much better bet than 12 that don’t.

This year I’m going to keep a log of my writing. Anything you measure tends to improve by itself, and if not, at least I’ll have a better idea what makes me productive or not.

Even though I don’t do resolutions, I do goals. What’s the difference? Maybe it’s just me, but I see a resolution as something permanent. From today on I will never smoke again, or I will always be kinder. A goal, on the other hand, has a definite end point. I will finish that book, or I will sort through that cupboard. So I usually set goals for the year, even though I’m sure to get blown off course almost immediately.

This year I plan to:

  • Look after my family. I mean, they look after themselves most of the time, but when they really need me to drop everything then I’ll do it
  • Keep fit-ish. This means walking and yoga and cooking food with veggies in it. Enough to stop the Writer’s Bottom getting any larger.
  • Finish the 3rd draft of the observatory guide book in time for the inauguration of the Large Sized Telescope.
  • Finish the 3rd draft of Murder by Starlight, a whodunnit set in the observatory
  • Pass German Intermediate 1. This probably means going to (almost) all the classes and doing (almost) all the homework, plus about 10 minutes a day with the phone app Duolingo
  • Declutter a little every week
  • I really fancy fitting in at least a little non-writing creativity this year. Like photography or embroidery or making a mobile. Not to sell or anything. Just for fun. I need to frivol more

And that’s approximately the order of priorities too. I’m keener to finish the novel than the non-fiction, but the guide book is my best seller and needs updating.

Short stories will probably happen just for fun, as a break from book-length projects. I’ll try to sell them anyway, (and keep trying to sell ones I’ve already written) but that’s not the main point.

Right. Time to go and set up my spreadsheet to track writing and start it with this blog post – 448 words.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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